Obama Attacks Fed Promo Product Spend

Wednesday November 9, 2011 | Filed under: Community, News About ASI

As you may have already seen, President Obama has announced a mandate to cut 20% from federal agency spending on “plaques, clothing, and other unnecessary promotional items.” The cuts are designed to trim the government’s “wasteful spending.”

We are undertaking an aggressive PR campaign to immediately educate the media and others to help the general public, as well as political leaders, understand the importance of our industry: job creation, promotional products’ incredible ROI and why our industry’s output and value shouldn’t be called “wasteful spending.”

We’re calling on everyone to reach out to their senators and congressmen – they need to hear from each of us, collectively and individually. I am sending a letter directly to President Obama. Below are talking points you might consider in a letter to the editor of your local paper and to your senator or your representative.

  • The promo products industry helps create jobs. The industry employs nearly 500,000 people throughout North America and includes thousands of small and women- and minority-owned businesses.
  •  Promotional products, which cost just half a penny per impression, beat out prime-time TV, radio and print advertising as the most cost-effective advertising medium available, meaning even smaller companies can pack the advertising punch of multimillion-dollar companies. ASI studies show 83% of ad specialty recipients in the U.S. say they can identify the advertiser on a promotional item they own.
  •  As more companies shift to lower-cost advertising like promo products, it’s helping the industry bounce back. A recent ASI Q3 industry survey found sales rose for the 7th straight quarter.
  •  Promo products save taxpayers money. The U.S. government used promotional items as reminders to mail back the U.S. census – instead of sending government representatives door-to-door – a move that may have saved taxpayers up to $85 million. The ensuing response rate surpassed that of the 2000 census.
  •  Obama himself knows promo products work – he relied heavily on them to get elected in 2008, and his reelection website today offers everything from logoed T-shirts to leather bracelets, bumper stickers, buttons and beyond.
You can find your senators here. Click here to find and write your U.S. representative.

We’ll provide additional information and guidance in coming days as we continue to learn more and evaluate ways to effectively respond.

Let me know what action you're taking and if you have any other suggestions by posting a comment or e-mailing me here.